On Superhero Stripper Hoes

From Marvel, because this is what women are for, apparently, in the Marvel Stripper-Ho universe.

When I wrote my Sci-Fi female lead, I wanted her to be sexy. Silly me, I defined sexy using the following criteria:

  • Smart, at least in terms of problem solving and the ability to think during stress
  • Strong, physically, mentally, and emotionally
  • Feminine, because strength and femininity aren’t mutually exclusive
  • Clothed, in things other than spandex, loin cloths, cut-offs, and bikinis. In other words, she never dresses like a stripper or centerfold
  • Indifferent to men’s attentions, unless it’s a man she likes
  • Independent
  • Never poses with her ass in the air, vagina aimed at you, or that fucking insipid genuflecting pose with one hand on the ground.
  • Able to Kick Mass Ass
  • Never, never, never, ho-ish, because hoes aren’t sexy (She’s for you; hoes are for everybody)

Now, in looking at how Marvel/Disney portrays their leads, it’s obvious why I received 2 “negative” reviews complaining that my lead doesn’t just kick ass and make them horny. In fact, they were horrified that she has romantic tension with her lesbian best friend. It isn’t because they never bothered to get to the action (Roxx kills a couple dozen assholes in the book) it’s because once she was identified as bisexual, they couldn’t proceed with reading it as though it were Marvel’s thinly guised soft porn.

I am so not a prude it’s ridiculous, but this shit makes me sick. As a test of my theory, I guugled some random images under the keywords “Superheroines” and “female superheroes.”  What I found was Lycra, cleavage, and Playboy poses. Fucking hell, people. Once again, for the record …

THIS …

Pole_dancer_BSP_04PLUS THIS …

attachmentDOESN’T EQUAL STRONG or SEXY.

Y’all don’t hear me.

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4 thoughts on “On Superhero Stripper Hoes

  1. The real problem I find lies in the continuing need to identify men and women as being culturally separate. And by that I mean, completely different, like they are actual definitions of character en masse. It’s a total crock. I find it disturbing that few people even consider the assumed separation of the sexes as even being remotely normal and not violation of human rights that it often is. That being said, we are all cultural monkeys to one degree or another, and I admire your desire to break that mould when representing female leads, or any female characters in fact. It’s a shame that others are less able to remove the blinkers, hanging on to outmoded and incorrect views of people as influenced by their physical appearance, and apparent sexual disposition. It’s just rude.
    A term I heard recently was Pan-Sexual, referring to those for whom sexual attraction to any other person is the influencing factor. I like that term, it infers no bias.
    The de-programming of cultural values is a process that one has to relearn as one matures. Going against the ‘accepted’ flow means being confident enough to stand up for your own beliefs, and to be able to see past all the shit that we are all force-fed from birth. Women who are confident are not manly, they are just being who they are. Men who are sensitive are not feminine, they too are just being who they are, exercising their ability and their right to express themselves fully and with confidence.
    Am I proud to be a woman? Not in the sense that you’d think. It’s just a label, like ‘monkey’.

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    • I used to believe that there was no difference between the genders, but I’ll confess that I’ve moved away from that view. What I will say is that there are no stereotypes among the genders or any that aren’t rooted in the prehistorical hunter vs. gatherer history that (temporarily) has painted our genetic code. That said, the major problem I have with these images is that 1) they are a crock of shit, and 2) their only real purpose is to provide fodder that allows juvenile (mentally) males to jerk off.

      The female leads are, in fact, not the leads of the story, but just some strong hoes we can masturbate about and imagine kicking some ass in the process. What is needed is some concept of women as beings, whose personality isn’t centered in sexuality, or in “being a woman.”

      I’ve worked for a number of women in my career, for example, and here’s what I’ve found different than the men I’ve worked for: not a damn thing.

      Gender differences are only rooted in things like physical mass and muscle/bone density, holdover biology from male hunters (the ability to eliminate distractions, spatial engineering in the brain, etc.) and female gatherers (establishment of social networks, the ability to focus on multiple things at once, etc.). These are rapidly disappearing, and I expect them to be gone by your grandchildren’s generation. In fact, I’ve learned the sole reason they exist is that some people (female and male) like the “differences” and adopt them. Girls don’t play with trucks, not because they’re different, but because other girls tell them they shouldn’t.

      Similarly, men don’t vomit all over the Lyrca Ho image because other men tell them they should like it. When I want porn, I go to xhamster, not fucking Marvel/Disney. At some point, writers and publishers have to take responsibility for the distorted, sexist, dangerous images they put before young males. If I had a son, and he treated women the way these costumes seem to suggest, well, I wouldn’t have a son for long.

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  2. The thing about all these sex and gender expectations is, in writing, that we can use them to toy with our characters and surprise the readers by messing with their expectations. I wrote a book sometime ago with a “will they/won’t they” tension in the early chapters, with the woman as the dominate (read: mentor) figure, and about half way through the story she kills a helpless enemy rather than make him face justice, which horrifies her partner. He realizes, in a heartbeat, that she’s as dangerous as their enemies and–as he is her protege–he drops her with a single shot. Bang. It freaked out my beta reader and my editor, who called me immediately and yelled at me “no, no, no your hero can’t kill a comrade.” I wouldn’t allow the edit, because it was perfect–I’d been surprised myself, right up to the moment he pulled the trigger. I knew they wouldn’t fall in love, because I knew that his arc is to be a good guy who does bad stuff for good–and occasionally foolish–reasons. I didn’t think he was a stone cold killer, though (and yes, she deserved it.)

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    • I find that no matter how hard we try, there is a strong resistance to changing the established good guy / bad guy rules that have existed for a century. Good guys don’t kill unless threatened, or at least unless they are battling an enemy that the audience agrees deserves to die. Women are women and men are men. It’s no wonder so much of what passes for literature is hackneyed.

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